Posted Oct. 6, 2008 – Hollywood’s handshake to struggling women can be cold and indifferent.
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Add single parenthood to the mix, and many could-be stars like Robin Goings give up before realizing their potential. The aspiring actress, who beat out hundreds of readers to win Heart & Soul magazine’s January cover model contest this year, has already gotten a taste of the pain that comes with seeking fame.
Goings was recently divorced from a regular performer on the Black comedy club circuit, who also has made a few movie and TV appearances. But she isn’t down or out. In fact, as she uses the exposure from being featured in the popular Black women’s health magazine to launch new endeavors, the 30-something Ohio native plans to fight on behalf of others. Goings is pushing for the passage of a national bill that would require entertainers, who sometimes tend to escape child support duties, to place their earnings in escrow accounts to benefit their families. The bill would force live entertainers, who are often compensated in cash, to pay taxes and leave a paper trail of their professional earnings.
The recent jailings of late singer Sean Levert and rapper MC Breed for non-payment of child support make Goings’ effort more timely than she could’ve imagined.
“The legal system did nothing to protect us,” she says of her family after the divorce.
In court, Goings says her ex denied much of his income and, without a way to prove his earnings, she and her children have struggled. It’s not at all uncommon for promoters, who can be corporations, new entrepreneurs or even drug dealers bankrolling events, to pay rappers and other club performers in cash. Convicted dope felon and Death Row Records financier Michael “Harry O” Harris even produced a play starring Denzel Washington before Washington achieved Hollywood fame.
Goings hopes that club owners and promoters will join her in efforts on the passage of her bill. She says the children of the entertainers are the greatest victims when there is no way of enforcing support orders from minor celebs like her ex, who may travel from stage to stage without fear of salary garnishment.
“The bill would prevent them from getting cash money and neglecting to pay creditors, the IRS, and starving out their families,” Goings adds.
She has received feedback from California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office and continues pursuing public support for the legislation. In the remaining months of Goings’ reign as a 2008 cover model, she is expanding on her platform, while still raising her children. Meanwhile, the experienced commercial actress plans on launching a product line, writing a book and doing motivational speaking. Her career has received increased publicity since the national exposure from Heart & Soul.
Actress Tami Roman’s highly publicized divorce from NBA player Kenny Anderson left her with struggles similar to Goings’ before she won a major settlement. Though proving her ex’s earnings was less challenging because of Anderson’s pro baller status, Roman sees the value of Goings’ legislative push.
Her fellow actress is an inspiration, adds the veteran of MTV shows and sitcoms including “One on One.”
“When you are spiritually grounded, you don't throw in the towel,” says Roman. “Instead, like Robin, you look adversity in the face and you fight harder.”
A long-time drama student, Goings adds that she’s re-connecting with her acting teacher and plans to get involved with independent film projects. She has used her post-marriage challenges as motivation for greater professional achievements.
“I have a lot of other proposals and stuff in the works,” she says. “Look out! You will be hearing a lot about me this year and in years to come.”
For information about Robin Goings’ bill proposal, visit her on the Web at myspace.com/robingoings.